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One of the most famous Russian sights is a place of interest for thousands of tourists yearly, so it is obvious that every visitor of Moscow has a photo on Red Square with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background. The Square is also important because it is recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage object. Lots of celebrations are held on the Red Square annually, if you’re planning the trip in advance, keep in mind that some of the best days to visit the square are New Year’s, Christmas, Victory Day on 9 May, Easter and Maslyanytsa (Pancake day in spring).
History behind the Red Square
The Square is located in the center of the Russian capital – Moscow, dividing Kitay Gorod and Kremlin, and its history is as long and fascinating as the post-Mongol fortress’ itself. In Russia the word “Krasnaya” can be translated not only as “red”, but also as “beautiful”. The history of this place begins at the end of 13th century.
Firstly, the Square was created protect Kremlin from the sides of Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers. In addition, residents of the city conducted different ceremonial parades there. For example, it used to be a place where Russian Tsars were crowned. Not much has changed since that time, nowadays the Red Square still hosts various ceremonies and processions.
Tourist attractions near the Red Square
There are quite a few tourist attractions located on the Red Square: the well-known St. Basil’s Cathedral, constructed at the time of Ivan IV’s reign; one of the Kremlin’s walls with the Spasskaya clock tower; the Lobnoye Mesto – a brick stage where people were put to death in ancient times; the Kazan Cathedral, dedicated to the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God; the Mint; the Zemsky prikaz town hall; the most famous shopping center in the capital – GUM; the statue of Minin-Pozharsky; the Red Beauty – a local museum; and last, but not the least – Lenin’s Mausoleum where the body of the Soviet leader still lays embalmed on display.
Almost all main city streets take their beginning from the Red Square. Then, they dissolve in the city’s jungles, so the Square indeed acts as the heart of Moscow.